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Research on the Uses of Immortal Qi
 

Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang He Sheng Mai San Jia Jian
(Supplement the Center & Boost the Qi Decoction
plus Engender the Pulse Powder with Additions & Subtractions)

by Bob Flaws

Immortal Qi is Blue Poppy Herbs' newest formula. It boosts the qi, enriches yin, and arouses the brain, but, because it upbears the clear and disinhibits the qi mechanism, it supplements without causing stagnation. In particular, this formula supplements all three viscera which engender the qi Ð the lungs, spleen, and kidneys. It boosts immunity, improves both physical and mental performance, and improves adaptation to stress. It is indicated for the treatment of qi and yin dual vacuity resulting in fatigue, lowered immunity, and aging. Immortal Qi can also be used as a sports performance-enhancing supplement as well as for the prevention and treatment of altitude sickness.

This formula is a combination and modification of two extremely famous formulas within Chinese medicine which were both created by Li Dong-yuan, Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang (Supplement the Center & Boost the Qi Decoction) and Sheng Mai San (Engender the Pulse Powder). Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang fortifies the spleen and boosts the qi, upbears the clear and disinhibits the qi mechanism. The qi mechanism to the mechanism within the body that engenders and transforms the qi. Sheng Mai San supplements the qi and enriches yin. It also specifically supplements the heart and lungs. Additions have also been made to increase and improve the circulation in the brain. Within this formula, Huang Qi, Hong Jing Tian, Wu Wei Zi, Tai Zi Shen, Bai Zhu, and mix-fried Gan Cao all fortify the spleen and supplement the qi, while Hong Jing Tian, Mai Men Dong, Wu Wei Zi, and Tai Zi Shen enrich yin and engender fluids. Dang Gui nourishes the blood. It is included because the blood is the mother of the qi and the blood and essence share a common source. Chai Hu, Sheng Ma, and Sheng Jiang upbear the clear and free the flow of the qi mechanism. Chuan Xiong and Man Jing Zi free the flow of the qi and blood in the head and improve the circulation in the brain. Dong Chong Xia Cao mycellium supplements both the lungs and kidneys and both yin and yang.

Anti-aging:

In the Winter 2000 issue of the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, Drs. Hung-che Shih et al. studied the anti-aging effect of Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang in mice. The results of this study were published in an article titled, "Anti_aging Effects of The Traditional Chinese Medicine Bu_Zhong_Yi_Qi_Tang in Mice." Following repeated oral administrations of Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang at 250 and 500 mg/kg, the normal and senile test mice were assessed for 1) endurance, 2) learning and memory, 3) neuromuscular coordination, and 4) changes in the levels of monoamines in the brain. The results indicated that Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang improved endurance in all strains in a dose_dependent manner. At the higher dose of 500 mg/kg, it improved memory in both the normal and senile mice. In prolonged rota_rod tests, which assessed both motor coordination and endurance, Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang significantly improved performance in specifically the senile mice. Elevated dopamine and noradrenaline were observed in conical tissues of the senile at the high dose of 500 mg/kg. Taken together, the results indicated that Bu Zgong Yi Qi Tang appeared to exert anti_aging effects in mice and elevation in certain monoamines in brain cortical tissues. These results are consistent with the notion that Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang improves health status in general but slows down or partially reverses aging in particular. In terms of individual ingredients within Immortal Qi, Huang Qi delays the natural aging process of diploid blastocytes, prolonging the life of cells by one third. It also acts as a free radical scavenger and antioxidant. Dong Chong Xia Cao is effective in lowering lipoproteinemia and preventing arteriosclerosis. It also stimulates the secretion of sex hormones in the elderly. One theory has it that aging is, to a large extent, due to a rise in active monoamine oxidize enzyme inside the body, and Dong Chong Xia Cao effectively inhibits the rise of such enzymes.

Performance-enhancing:

Several medicinals in Immortal Qi have been shown to enhance energy and improve the body's metabolism, thus improving both physical and mental performance. For instance, Huang Qi boosts the body's energy and promotes the metabolism of serum and liver proteins. It also improves left ventricular function and output. Wu Wei Zi counteracts the deleterious effects of sugar but optimizes energy in times of stress and increases stamina. Wu Wei Zi is known to stimulate the nervous system, increasing the speed of reflex nervous responses and improving mental clarity. Wu Wei Zi is also known to improve irritability and forgetfulness. It improves the health of the adrenal glands and energizes RNA-DNA molecules to rebuild cells. Dong Chong Xia Cao is a well known sports-enhancer. It has been proven to increase the ATP in human mitochondria, in turn increasing the energy output of cells. It is especially, good for people who are involved in athletics or enjoy vigorous sports. Chinese athletes who used Dong Chong Xia Cao in their athletic training program surprised everyone including sports authorities when they broke the 10,000 meter world track record in 1993. Research has also shown that Dong Chong Xia Cao can increase the number of red blood cells as well as proteins for the production of blood plasma. A placebo_controlled, clinical trial showed that Hong Jing Tian enhances physical fitness, improves neuromotor test responses, reduces mental fatigue, and improves general well being. It has been proven to increase the ATP (adenosine tri_phosphate) production in human cell mitochondria and thus increasing the energy levels of people using it. Tai Zi Shen is very effective in combating fatigue and inability to concentrate.

Immune-boosting:

As a whole Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang can increase the activity of natural killer cells in the blood and increase the serum level of interferon_gamma (IFN_g) which are crucial in our body's defense against pathogens. Thus Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang enhances the immune function and protects the body from infections of bacteria and virus as well as from immmuno-suppression due to radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or stress. When Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang is administered as adjuvant therapy of cancer patients before and after chemotherapy and surgery, the patients showed improved fatigue and tiredness, improved appetite and diarrhea, better spirit and recovery compared to the controls. In particular, Huang Qi strengthens immunity to disease increasing the production of lymphocytes and macrophages, by inhibiting pathological changes on the molecular level caused by viruses, and by stimulating the synthesis of antibodies. Other research indicates that Huang Qi enhances the body's natural defense functions by stimulating the responsiveness of T cells. In addition, one study found that subjects with advanced cancer showed a two_to_threefold increase in the strength of their immune response after consuming Huang Qi. Dong Chong Xia Cao is routinely used in Asia to strengthen the immune system of cancer patients receiving radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and/or surgery. It especially stabilizes blood analysis by increasing the number of blood cells as well as protein for producing blood plasma. Wu Wei Zi is well known for its ability to protect the liver from various types of toxins and pathogens. Scientific research has shown that Tai Zi Shen helps to protect the mucus layer that lines the respiratory tract, thus promoting immunity to airborne pathogens, and Bai Zhu inhibits cyclo_oxygenase and 5_lipoxygenase, the enzymes that manufacture inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes respectively.

Altitude sickness:

In Chinese medicine, the symptoms of altitude sickness are all qi vacuity symptoms, and the spleen is the latter heaven root of the engenderment and transformation of qi. Chinese research published as recently as 2003 has proven that Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang can treat the symptoms of altitude sickness. Li Ao's Sheng Mai San (Engender the Pulse Powder) is Chinese medicine's basic lung qi-supplementing, yin-enriching formula. Because altitude sickness is frequently accompanied by dehydration, yin-supplementation can also help prevent and treat mild altitude sickness. Chinese research conducted in 1989 has proven that Sheng Mai San is effective for the prevention of altitude sickness. Using spirometry and cardiac function tests to measure the changes in cardiopulmonary function of healthy adults living at 7,500 feet who then traveled to a plateau at 13,420 feet, Feng et al. tested this formula for its ability to prevent the physiological changes measured. According to these Chinese researchers, Sheng Mai San "did efficiently protect the villagers from the plateau reaction..." or symptoms of altitude sickness. Further, in a post on the Chinese Herb Academy Internet bulletin board, Simon Becker, a professional practitioner of Chinese herbal medicine, has described his own family's successful use of Sheng Mai San when they traveled to and around Tibet at high altitude after coming from a lower elevation. Hong Jing Tian, sometimes called Tibetan Ginseng, likewise supplements the qi and enriches yin. Hong Jing Tian comes from the high altitude environment of the Tibetan Plateau where it is traditionally believed to prevent altitude sickness. Chinese research has also confirmed that Hong Jing Tian can improve the blood oxygen saturation at high altitude during sleep, thus promoting better, more restful sleep at high altitudes. Finally Man Jing Zi and Chuan Xiong have been added to specifically treat the qi vacuity headache and dizziness associated with altitude sickness.

Endnotes:

1. www.go_symmetry.com/cordyceps.htm#cordyceps
2. www.china_guide.com/cordycepsh.html
3. www.herbs.org/current/rhodi.htm
4. Kido T, Mori K, Daikuhara H, Tsuchiya H, Ishige A, Sasaki H. The protective effect of hochu_ekki_to (TJ_41), a Japanese herbal medicine, against HSV_1 infection in mitomycin C_treated mice. Anticancer Res. 2000 Nov_Dec;20(6A):4109_13
5. Kuroiwa A, Liou S, Yan H, Eshita A, Naitoh S, Nagayama A. Effect of a traditional Japanese herbal medicine, Hochu_ekki_to (Bu_Zhong_Yi_Qi Tang), on immunity in elderly persons. Int Immunopharmacol. 2004 Feb;4(2):317_24
6. Li T, Tamada K, Abe K, Tada H, Onoe Y, Tatsugami K, Harada M, Kubo C, Nomoto K. The restoration of the antitumor T cell response from stress_induced suppression using a traditional Chinese herbal medicine Hochu_ekki_to (TJ_41:Bu_Zhong_Yi_Qi_Tang). Immunopharmacology. 1999 Jun;43(1):11_21
7. Kim SH, Lee SE, Oh H, Kim SR, Yee ST, Yu YB, Byun MW, Jo SK. The radioprotective effects of bu_zhong_yi_qi_tang: a prescription of traditional Chinese medicine. Am J Chin Med. 2002;30(1):127_37
8. Yao Yun-qing, "Observations on the Therapeutic Effect of Treating 24 Cases of High Altitude Low Blood Pressure with Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang Jia Wei (Supplement the Center & Boost the Qi Decoction with Added Flavors)," Yun Nan Zhong Yi Zhong Yao Za Zhi (Yunnan Journal of Chinese Medicine & Chinese Medicinals), #5, 2003, p. 17
9. www.price_pottenger.org/Articles/Altitude.htm
10 www.chineseherbacademy.org
11. www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m0FDN/3_6/76487131/p1/article.jhtml
12. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12423559&dopt=Abstract

 
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